BlackBerry's move to open up its API for the BlackBerry 10 OS to third parties will help it stem the flight from BlackBerry devices in the corporate world, say analysts.
Analyst house Forrester said BlackBerry is "embracing interoperability and looking to extend its cooperation with third parties such as Citrix, VMware/AirWatch, and eventually, other leading mobile device management (MDM) vendors".
By opening up the API, enterprises will now be able to use MDM platforms outside of the BlackBerry BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Service) system, to manage current and future deployments of BlackBerry devices running BlackBerry OS 10 or later, Forrester said.
BES 10 already allows companies to manage iOS and Android devices alongside BlackBerry ones, and the forthcoming BES 12 will also allow them to manage Windows Phone devices.
By opening up the BlackBerry 10 OS to third parties though, BlackBerry has conceded lucrative BES 10 revenues are not good enough on their own when BlackBerry phone sales are going through the floor.
The company had to do something like this to counter recommendations from other analysts. Last autumn Gartner said companies should move from the BlackBerry platform within six months, in the face of falling sales and company instability.
Forrester analyst Tyler Shields said of the open API move:"This means that security groups can stop worrying about how quickly they can remove BlackBerry devices from their environment, and instead create a phased plan to transition away from, or potentially even keep, their BlackBerry device deployments."